Listen to episode 322 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Exercises in Concentration | Developing the Mind. Edited and adapted from Stepping-Stones to Success by Horace D. Hitchcock.
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Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Stepping-Stones to Success by Horace D. Hitchcock, published in 1916.
The achievement of focusing the mind on one thing at a time involves not only the energy in striving to do that one thing, but also the ability to put aside other things to make a clear channel for the desired end. The power to focus attention has been the inseparable adjunct to all achievements in business, politics, art, literature, and science. Through this power, women and men of very ordinary ability have risen from poverty to great affluence.
Concentration is a stepping stone to success in any endeavor, and it is a quality of mind which may be developed positively the same as any other mental ability. The value of concentration may be exemplified in the office of a modern business — where you have the constant tapping of keyboards, the ringing of telephones, the voices of employees, calls for interviews, and dozens of other distractions.
Success depends upon our ability to concentrate on the business at hand and put aside the hundred and one things that constantly endeavor to prey upon our limited time. There is as much strain in resisting the non-essential in order to make room for the essential, as in accomplishing the essential object in view.
Many fail, not because they are not able to do one thing well, but because they are unable to concentrate their energies on the one task, ever allowing other things to rob them of time and energy.
Just as the rays of the sun may be focused on a small point by means of a lens and made to produce intense heat, it is also possible to focus the human energies on some object so that the resulting accomplishment will be astonishing, almost marvelous.